With massive business growth in the world of marijuana, cannabis certification is something to be considered. The business and employment opportunities are significant whether it is for a CEO position, budtender in a dispensary or a production and growing job. Companies want to hire people with knowledge and background so there are no mistakes that will cost a business time and money.
Getting cannabis certification is easier than it was a decade ago. There are different programs to choose from ranging from the basics of budtending to a master’s degree in horticulture that specializes in cannabis. Lots to learn from both online and in-person courses. Before signing up, think about the career path you want to head out on and then narrow down the course choices to what looks best for you and your budget.
Available Courses for Cannabis Certification
Knowing what to take is important in reaching your professional goals. If you are not interested in the actual cultivation of cannabis, then perhaps cannabis science is something to take and work towards medical cannabis certification. If you want to work on growing, then horticulture is an option either at a university or college. The other area to look at is legislation which means you should be researching legal courses. There are courses for everyone and every cannabis position.
1. Oaksterdam University – Oakland, California
This school is the first cannabis college and was founded in 2007. The faculty were some of the main people who helped mold the laws in regard to cannabis. They offer certification in cannabis on the business side as well as the horticulture one as well. It is one of the highest acclaimed cannabis schools in the United States and is a highlight on any resume. Their classes are in-person allowing students to connect with peers and staff who have a great depth of knowledge about the cannabis industry. They also have an online program that works for people who do not live in the California area. Semesters cost approximately $1600-$1900 each and if you just want to take a seminar that is around $700.
2. Clover Leaf University – Denver, Colorado
Clover leaf is the only cannabis university that is approved by Colorado’s Department of Higher Education’s Private Occupational School Board. They were established in 2008 and offer extensive courses. Phytotechnology, horticulture, business, law and medical cannabis are all available. Classes can be done online or in-class depending on the student’s location. They are very supportive of their alumni and work with them as they open businesses or work in the field. Classes cost between $100-$400 while a 3-day cannabis certification program ranges from $500-$2000.
3. THC University – Online
THC University is one of the best online cannabis certification programs available online. It does not charge by course but by access. You only pay while you are using the resources. The focus here is individual courses around budtending, terpene basics, beginner growing and specialization in horticulture. There are also courses in business training so you can touch on all points of the industry if you wish. The monthly cost is $50, 3 months for $135 and 6 months at $240.
4. The University of Maryland – Rockville, Maryland
This university’s School of Pharmacy is now offering a new master’s program in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. It is a 2-year program that is both online and in person. It is great for those who enjoy the research and science of cannabis as it allows students to learn about conducting their own research in the industry. The courses look at the science of cannabis, clinic use, benefits and negative effects, public health issues and the laws and legislation that apply to cannabis in the United States. The costs are high but with it comes certification that will allow employment opportunities in multiple cannabis capacities. Tuition and fees to take this master’s degree is almost $21,000 for students who live in Maryland and $25,000 for those out of state.
5. Clark University – Worcester, Massachusetts
This university is the first to offer certification in Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control. The location is significant as the town is where the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is located. It takes at least 2 semesters to do this certificate and the credits you get from it can go towards a master’s degree in Public Administration. When you are done this certificate students will have a good understanding of the social, legal and ethical outcomes of the legalization of cannabis. The cost is $8505 for the program.
6. Cleveland School of Cannabis – Cleveland, Ohio
This school offers a Medical Cannabis Comprehensive program along with smaller certifications as well. You can take courses in horticulture, opening a dispensary as well as ones in the medical application of cannabis. These are all state certification programs. They are offered in a practical way with the hope that the courses lead to quick employment. The courses cost $1000 for a week-long class or $5200 for the complete program. There are also weekend courses that are introductory in nature that cost $250.
Obtaining cannabis certification will help you open doors to employment opportunities. Having certification of any kind on your resume is going to help build an employer’s confidence in your abilities to work in the marijuana field. It will give you a higher profile compared to those who do not have it. Education is going to make your job search easier and less stressful when it comes to getting ahead of your competitors.
Students can find classes and certifications to meet every educational need in the industry. Some are meant as entry-level learning or for those who just want to understand the industry better, and other courses are more in-depth and are meant to support those who need to be well versed in cannabis horticulture, science, business or cannabis law. The offerings are for everyone in the field. Flexibility and content are key so these paths to cannabis certification not only fit your lifestyle but will offer job opportunities and networking that a student didn’t have previously.
Olivia Solero is the Co-founder of Cannabis Stack. Olivia has an unusual blend of creative thinking and the ability to put that thinking into effect. She likes to write; loves to edit; she knows how to lead, follow or get out of the way; she is good with a buck and wicked smart when it comes to data.